Do you love slow cooker recipes? If so, this slow cooker beef brisket recipe is definitely for you! This roast beef brisket is cooked low and slow in the slow cooker, resulting in a fall apart tender and juicy beef brisket that will melt in your mouth.
Cook slowly in the slow cooker pot for 6-8 hours (check weight for cooking time) on top of carrots, onions, and beef stock infused with dried thyme and horseradish all come together to form an unforgettable flavour combination of leftover juices which gets made into a gravy.
Achieves fall apart results. Only two forks are needed to shred the succulent meat effortlessly. Serve pulled beef in the gravy or separately as desired.
Pair with your favourite roast dinner sides for an unforgettable dining experience!
Go directly to the information you need, or read all of it for a complete understanding of creating the best fall apart beef brisket.
Not only is this dish delicious, but it's also really easy to make. In just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious and hearty slow cooker fork-tender brisket that the whole family will love.
What is Beef Brisket
Beef brisket is an incredibly popular cut of meat which is perfect for the slow cook method, commonly used to make roasts, stews, barbecue, sandwiches, tacos, corned beef, and many other dishes.
Brisket comes from the breast or lower chest area of the cow. This cut of meat is typically sold in the UK tied up with string as a rolled beef brisket joint.
You will only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this slow cooker roast beef recipe.
I will go into more details below but you can jump straight to the recipe card for the ingredients list, including the quantities required.Beef Brisket in Slow Cooker Recipe Card
When it comes to slow-cooking beef brisket, you want to ensure that you select the right cut of meat.
Look for an evenly marbled joint with a nice layer of fat on top, as this will help to keep the meat tender and juicy while slow cooking.
How much beef brisket per person?
A good rule of thumb is to allow approximately 250 grams (9oz) of raw beef brisket per person. Remember, it does shrink in the slow cooker, so will weigh less when cooked and will be served with roast dinner side dishes.
|Beef Brisket Joint Size||Serves (approx)|
|800g - 1kg|
|3 - 4|
|1 - 1.2kg|
|4 - 5|
|1.2 - 1.5kg|
|5 - 6|
|1.5 - 1.8kg|
|6 - 7|
|1.8 - 2kg|
|7 - 8|
Olive oil is used to coat the beef brisket before searing.
Salt and Pepper
Salt and pepper are two of the most basic seasonings, which go great with beef brisket.
The salt and pepper will help to add flavour to the meat when cooking your beef brisket in the slow cooker.
Use chopped vegetables such as onion and carrots as a trivet in the slow cooker pot.
The vegetables prevent the brisket from sticking to the bottom of the slow cooker, resulting in delicious tender and juicy fall-apart pulled beef.
It is also a great way to add flavour, to the stock which is turned into a delicious meaty gravy. You can use other vegetables instead.
Beef stock or beef broth helps to add flavour and moisture to the beef brisket while it slowly cooks. The stock also helps to keep the meat tender and juicy whilst cooking brisket, and you use this after to make a delicious gravy.
Horseradish sauce is an excellent addition giving a unique flavour that will enhance the taste of the stock which will later be used to create a gravy.
Dried herbs are another way to add a great flavour to beef brisket while it's slow cooking. We used dried thyme but other herbs that go well with beef include oregano, rosemary, or sage.
Only use dried herbs in the slow cooker as fresh herbs are not suitable for the long cooking duration.
Other seasonings can be added. Try adding some onion powder, garlic powder or other spice rub mixes.
To create a delicious thick gravy from the remaining cooking juices, you will need to make a roux from flour and butter mixed together over a medium heat.
Browning is an optional ingredient we use to deepen the colour of the gravy. Dark soy sauce can add a richer colour instead.
To cook the beef brisket until it falls apart, you'll need the right equipment starting with most important a slow cooker otherwise known as a crock pot.
You'll also need a large pan to sear the beef joint before adding it to the slow cooker, as well as making your gravy afterwards. Don't forget a whisk to create a smooth gravy and a gravy boat to serve it in.
The full instructions to cook brisket in the slow cooker can be found on the recipe card, but here is a quick run-through.
Remove brisket from the fridge to bring it to room temperature, then pat it with a kitchen paper towel to remove excess blood and juices. Rub it with a tablespoon of oil, and season with salt and black pepper.
Sear the joint in a pan at medium high heat for two minutes per side until slightly golden brown.
Transfer the browned brisket joint onto a trivet of carrot and onion in the slow cooker. Add in thyme, horseradish sauce and stock, then cook on low for an amount of time depending on the size of the joint.
Beef Brisket Cooking Time in Slow Cooker
When cooking beef brisket in a slow cooker, it's best to set the heat setting on low. This low and slow setting will slowly break down the tough muscle fibres in the beef, yielding a tender, fall-apart texture that can't be achieved if cooking on high temperature.
|Beef Brisket Joint Size||Cook Time on Low|
|800g - 1.4kg|
(1.8lb - 3lb)
|6 - 7 hours|
|1.5 - 2kg|
(3.3lb - 4.4lb)
|8 - 9 hours|
Do not lift the lid at all during cooking, have peace of mind knowing your meal is slowly cooking away without any need to interfere.
Notice how the brisket shrinks and the liquid rises during cooking.
As long as you follow the cooking times in this beef brisket recipe, you will have deliciously tender beef which falls apart beautifully. If you find the brisket is not shredding easily you may need to cook longer.
However, if you want to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly - which is especially important when using tougher cuts of meat - use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 97°C / 208°F. That way you can be certain that your meal will be succulent and moist!
When ready, take out the slow-cooked beef brisket. Cover it loosely with foil for at least 20 minutes before carving and serving. This allows the juices to be redistributed before shredding the beef, so there is plenty of time to make gravy!
To make beef gravy from leftover juices, strain the cooking liquids into a jug.
I love my gravy separator jug seen above! It comes with a strainer, and the liquid releases slowly from the bottom of the jug with a squeeze of the handle so you can get the broth and leave the layer of fat on top.
Melt some butter in a pan and whisk in flour until it forms a roux.
Slowly combine the cooking liquid with the roux and heat until thickened to desired consistency before seasoning with salt and pepper.
For added colour, consider adding browning for a richer result.
Pulled Beef Brisket
To shred beef brisket, remove the cooking strings and any excess fat.
Use two forks on a wooden chopping board to create the perfect pulled beef.
Serve it as is or with your favourite roast dinner side dishes and gravy.
Alternatively, I like to add my pulled beef to the gravy.
Return shredded meat back to the slow crock pot and pour in most of the onion gravy, saving some for serving over side dishes.
Mix and keep warm in the slow cooker until ready to serve.
Beef brisket is an ideal cut of meat to serve for your Sunday dinner, or an alternative to turkey at Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Serve with the classic Sunday roast dinner side dishes seen here with our baby roast potatoes, air fryer carrots, braised red cabbage, cauliflower cheese, sage and onion stuffing and yorkshire puddings.
If you have leftover shredded beef without the gravy you could add some homemade bbq sauce to it instead. Or try our red wine jus recipe using the juices from when you seared the meat.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket - Pulled Beef with Gravy
- 1.5 kg Beef Brisket
- 1 Large Onions Halved
- 1 Large Carrot Cut into batons
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 2 teaspoon Horseradish
- 500 ml Beef Stock
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Large pinches Salt and Black Pepper
- Leftover Cooking Juices from Slow Cooker
- 50 grams Butter
- 50 gram Plain Flour
- Splash Browning optional for deeper colour
How to Cook Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker
- Remove 1.5 kg Beef Brisket from the packaging. Keep the strings on to keep it rolled together for even cooking. Bring beef joint to room temperature before searing. This should take approx 1 hour from chilled.
- Cut 1 Large Onions in half and 1 Large Carrot into batons place into slow cooker pot to use as a trivet under the beef. They also help add flavour to the gravy.
- Add 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme and 2 teaspoon Horseradish to 500 ml Beef Stock and stir to combine.
- Pour the stock mix into the slow cooker pot. Turn on to a low heat.
- Pat the brisket joint with kitchen paper towels to remove excess blood and juices.
- Pour just 1 tablespoon of the 2 tablespoon Olive Oil over the beef and rub it in using your hands.
- Season the beef brisket with Large pinches Salt and Black Pepper.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into a pan. Bring to medium heat and sear all sides of the beef for about 2 minutes per side until slightly golden brown all over. Using tongs helps to hold it in place during searing.
- Add the beef roast joint on top of the onion and carrot. Pop the lid on and cook on low for the following time. Adjust cooking time according to the size of the joint.800g-1.4 kg - 6-7 hours1.5kg - 2.0 kg - 8-9 hours
- We cooked this 1.5kg beef brisket joint for 8 hours on low. It is normal for the beef joint to shrink during cooking, and the liquid levels will rise.
- Remove the beef from the slow cooker onto a meat chopping board or a plate. Cover loosely with foil whilst creating the gravy.Resting for at least 20 minutes allows the juices in the beef brisket to redistribute throughout the meat, creating a much juicier result than if you were to cut into it right away.
Make a Beef Gravy from Leftover Juices
- Use a sieve to drain the Leftover Cooking Juices from Slow Cookerpot into a jug. Set aside until the fat from the stock rises to the top.
- Melt 50 grams Butter over low heat in a large pan. Gradually add the 50 gram Plain Flour in a bit at a time to create a roux. Whisking constantly to prevent burning.
- Once the roux has cooked for several minutes, slowly add the leftover cooking liquids from your slow cooker, whisking until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved. It is ok if it goes through a lumpy stage keep stirring in a bit at a time.
- Bring to a boil to thicken and add as much of the cooking liquids as you need for the thickness of gravy you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Optional - To make the gravy colour more appealing, I like to add a Splash Browning sauce.
Shredding Beef Brisket
- Once the beef has rested and the gravy is ready. Remove the strings from the joint and discard excess fat from the top.
- Use two forks to pull the beef brisket joint apart, creating pulled beef. You can shred it into large pieces or smaller pieces however you desire.
- You can serve like this straight to the plate. Allowing everyone to add the gravy when serving.
- Serve with your favourite roast dinner side dishes and gravy.
Optional - Pulled Beef in Gravy
- I prefer to return the shredded beef back to the slow cooker pot.
- Pour in most of the gravy (saving a small gravy boat full for pouring over the side dishes).
- Mix the gravy and beef together and keep warm on the low setting whilst preparing the side dishes.
We updated this slow cooker beef brisket recipe on November 4, 2023. It was initially posted on January 13, 2023. It has been updated with more ingredient advice, serving suggestions, and a simplified recipe card.
Once cooked, the best way to store slow cooker brisket is to wrap it tightly in cling film or foil.
This will keep the brisket from drying out and make sure that it retains its flavour and moisture. Mixing shredded brisket with the gravy will also keep it moist.
Cooked brisket will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You could add some BBQ sauce (try our homemade BBQ sauce) instead of gravy to the leftovers for incredible flavour.
Alternatively, your cooked beef can be frozen for up to 4 months.
Reheating cooked beef brisket from chilled is an easy way to enjoy it all over again.
For best results, reheat in the gravy you cooked with it (or make up some more gravy) to help keep the meat moist. You can do this in a microwave, pan, slow cooker or a covered baking dish in the oven.
Whichever method you use, warm it until heated through, do not overcook it.
It is not recommended to cook brisket on a high setting this will cause the brisket to become tough and dry. Low and slow is the best way to go when cooking beef brisket in a slow cooker; this will ensure that the brisket remains moist and tender.
It's best to cook it with the thick layer of fat side up. Slow cooker brisket requires the fat to melt and tenderize the meat during cooking.
Yes, you can use gravy granules instead of making your own gravy. However, using homemade gravy gives the beef brisket dish a more natural flavour. It also allows you to control the ingredients and spicing that goes into your gravy. For best results, consider trying both methods and see which one works better for your recipe.
Meal-prepping beef brisket in a slow cooker is an easy and tasty way to get a delicious meal on the table during busy weeks or when you don't have time to cook. This slow cooked beef brisket can be made ahead and used in endless recipes, making meal prep both convenient and flavorful without having to sacrifice taste.
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